Michigan football injury report, keys to victory vs. Illinois

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — We’re per week away from what might be essentially the most anticipated model of The Game in over a decade, however first issues first.

Michigan’s opponent this Saturday, Illinois, is not any slouch, coming into Ann Arbor with a good 7-3 report whereas proper within the thick of the hotly contested Big Ten West race.

It’s been a banner season for head coach Bret Bielema, who in two years has turned the Fighting Illini into a good football program once more. Illinois boasts the nation’s main rusher, Chase Brown, and the No. 2-ranked protection, which ought to give Michigan greater than sufficient to fear about.

Meanwhile, Michigan (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten) continues to roll with one of many No. 1-ranked protection and a robust speeding assault of its personal, led by Heisman Trophy contender Blake Corum. A victory on Saturday would certainly preserve the Wolverines within the College Football Playoff hunt, one week earlier than the showdown in Columbus.

But what is the injury state of affairs appear to be, and what could be Michigan’s plan of assault this Saturday? Here’s our weekly injury replace, together with some keys to victory…

Picks: Michigan-Illinois rating predictions from MLive’s beat writers

INJURY REPORT

Likely:

Michigan’s Luke Schoonmaker stands over a Hawaii defender after a catch throughout Michigan’s matchup with Hawaii on the Big House on September 10, 2022.Ryan Sun | rsun@mlive.com

TE Luke Schoonmaker — Michigan’s new No. 1 tight finish sat out the victory over Nebraska final week, however sources say it was nothing critical and extra precautionary than something. We count on Schoonmaker to try to give it a go on Saturday, albeit with a restricted workload or snap depend. His 30 catches for 315 yards rank second on the staff, which has been with out true No. 1 Erick All for a lot of the season.

OL Trente Jones — Michigan’s beginning proper sort out returned from a high-ankle sprain final week, albeit in a restricted, reserve position. We consider it was a manner to ease him again into motion, with the expectation being that Jones returns to the beginning lineup.

EDGE Mike Morris — Typically, Michigan doesn’t enable injured (and even questionable) gamers to converse with the media. Yet there was Mike Morris this week, participating in an interview and even taking questions on his standing. Yes, he could also be banged up and have left final week’s recreation prematurely, however Morris positive gave the impression of a participant decided to play his final recreation inside Michigan Stadium.

Questionable:

OL Trevor Keegan — The beginning left guard was sidelined once more final Saturday towards Nebraska with an undisclosed ailment, and we consider there is a good probability he performs towards Illinois. But the intel on his state of affairs is just not clear, leaving us to lean extra towards “questionable” than “possible.”

RB Donovan Edwards — The No. 2 working again began final week, took a number of carries and was in on a blocking task or two, however by no means returned for the second half. That suggests Edwards, who’s been banged up all through his two-year profession at Michigan, might have re-aggravated a earlier injury.

Story: Blake Corum goals to proceed Heisman push vs. stingy Illinois protection

Doubtful:

LB Nikhai Hill-Green — Still no definitive phrase on Hill-Green (comfortable tissue), who has been sidelined for all 10 video games this season. He might theoretically return this week, seem in 4 video games this yr and declare a redshirt (his freshman season was 2020, the pandemic-impacted yr) if that is the route Michigan desires to go down. But if he does not play Saturday, I’d be stunned if he returned in any respect this yr.

Out:

QB Cade McNamara — Michigan’s backup quarterback is sidelined for the remainder of the season after having knee surgical procedure final week in California.

TE Erick All — Michigan’s beginning tight finish had “life-changing” season-ending surgical procedure through the bye week, ruling him out for the remainder of the season.

DB/ST Caden Kolesar — The particular groups star suffered an ACL tear sprinting down the sector throughout a punt return towards Iowa, sidelining him for the remainder of the way in which.

LS William Wagner — We haven’t got the particulars on this one, however Michigan’s prime lengthy snapper additionally suffered a season-ending injury towards Iowa. Greg Tarr has been filling in ever since.

Story: Michigan has the nation’s No. 1 protection, however it’s approaching the again of dangerous offenses

KEYS TO VICTORY

Chase Brown, Cole Godbout

Wyoming nostril sort out Cole Godbout tackles Illinois working again Chase Brown through the first half of an NCAA school football recreation, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)AP

Outrush Illinois. It sounds easy, however Michigan has outgained all 10 of its opponents on the bottom. And while you mix the numbers, Jim Harbaugh’s staff is doing it at a higher than a 3-to-1 clip. It’s quite spectacular, actually. Well, the Fighting Illini come to city with the most effective backs within the nation, Chase Brown, who’s averaging 144.2 yards per recreation and 5.5 yards per carry. Illinois desires to win similar to Michigan, on the bottom with lengthy, time-consuming drives, and will probably be up to the Wolverines to do it higher.

Contains Chase Brown. Easier stated than accomplished, clearly, however the junior working again has topped 100 yards speeding in all however one recreation this season and stays a key cog to the Illinois offense. He’s working his manner again from a decrease leg injury, which can sluggish him down, however it’ll be very important that the Michigan protection retains the working lanes blocked and tackles nicely. Brown is not a big-play risk (he solely has 4 carries of 30+ yards this season), however he is distinctive and selecting up 5-6 yards and carrying down a protection.

Limit turnovers. Illinois is likely one of the greatest within the nation in forcing turnovers, getting into Saturday’s recreation with a nation-leading 17 interceptions and a plus-7 turnover margin. Bielema’s protection sits again and picks aside opposing quarterbacks, making it important for JJ McCarthy not to pressure something. In truth, it would lead to Michigan retaining the ball on the bottom many of the recreation, its most popular manner to win anyway. We count on a lot of carries for Corum, who has a Heisman Trophy resume to keep, and a troublesome, rugged floor recreation from each groups.

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